October 14, 2015

About Houghton Marine Service

Houghton Marine is now offering service in:

Marblehead, Nahant, Swampscott, Danvers, Beverly and Salem Harbor!

In 2022, Houghton Marine Service, Inc. will celebrate over 43 years in the Mooring business. For the past 41 years Houghton Marine was the only mooring service in Winthrop and Boston Harbors. However, in 2021 Houghton Marine sold its Winthrop and Boston customer base and is now moving the mooring hauler and all equipment to the North Shore Harbors listed above. 

Peg and Joe have lived in Marblehead since 1983 and have been active boaters in the Marblehead Harbor area. It has always been their vision to move their business to their home port to service their community.

A family owned and operated business; we pride ourselves in our customer service and expertise in the mooring industry while using the best products available in the marine industry.


About Us/ history

Joe and Peg Houghton are the founders of Houghton Marine Services, Inc. Although Peg helps with the books It was Joe’s vision and hard work that truly started the business. It was through this vision and hard work that Joe and Peg started a proprietorship in 1979 and then incorporated in 1988.

Building a Business one step at a time:

  • In 1979, Joe began his business using a wooden raft with a hole in the middle rigged with a tripod frame and a chain fall suspending from the frame. This enabled him to pull the moorings up with his hands. He had 25-30 customers his first year. The word got around quickly that Joe was a reliable resource for getting your mooring set up, and within 2 years the customer base grew.
  • In 1983, Joe bought a wooden barge rigged to be pushed with a wooden lobster boat. This served him for a few more years but became hard for him to man alone. 1985 Joe built a plywood pilot house on the barge and motorized it by adding an outboard motor.
  • In 1989 Joe and Peg made a decision to buy a 26 foot steel hulled push boat with a crane so the business could serve bigger boats and expand to other harbors. The push boat came with a Detroit diesel engine that was left over from WWII but served to be a reliable motor. Peg and Joe named the boat, Amaris, after their two children; Amanda and Chris. That year they also set up the current shop at Rice’s Wharf.

  • In 2004 Houghton Marine made the decision to sell the Amaris and build a mooring hauler that would allow them to pull heavier moorings in Boston Harbor as well as salvage small boats and perform dock repair. Joe had the Iron Eagle built in Rockport Maine with twin diesel engines and an aluminum hull and crane. Iron Eagle is what we use today.


During these years, Joe continued to work with the Winthrop Harbor Masters to design mooring areas throughout Winthrop that were organized and safe for boaters. He proved to be a reliable, knowledgeable and trusted resource to both the Harbormaster and his customers. His customer base grew to as many as 650 customers. Houghton Marine also expanded to areas outside of Winthrop to serve customers and private marinas in Boston Harbor, the Boston Harbor Islands, Charles River and also up the Mystic River as far as Medford.


Along with the Mooring Business:

Joe-Along with building the Houghton Marine Service Business, Joe had a 32-year career as a full time Firefighter at Massachusetts Port Authority Fire Department, working on the Marine unit. In his work as both a Massport Fire fighter and owner of Houghton Marine, he worked all year round on the water and in Winthrop and Boston Harbors ensuring safety and security in the Logan Airport area. In both of his jobs, Joe established relationships with business owners and customers. These relationships are what make Houghton Marine a strong and reliable business and give each of his customers confidence in Joe as a person, business owner and boater. Now retired from the fire department, Joe can now devote all his time to the business and his many customers.

Peg-Along with working as co-owner and President of Houghton Marine, Peg had a 43-year career in Radiology. Peg spent the last 10 years working as the Executive Director of Radiology at Salem Hospital.  Now retired from Salem Hospital, Peg looks forward to devoting her time to the business and bring her skills as a hospital administrator to her role as president of Houghton Marine Service.

Houghton Marine is a business built on honest hard work. Joe knows all his customers by name and treats everyone fairly and with a customized approach to their needs. Please give Joe or Peg a call to discuss your boating needs. They are happy to help you out in any way they can.

The Houghton’s